Now sharks, too, will have easy access to Wi-Fi hot spots. But the wireless signal-transmitting hot spots aren't for the sharks to use — they're part of a network of robots that are being deployed in the Pacific Ocean to gather data about where sharks, whales and other ocean predators swim. The robots will start gathering data this summer from predators that already have been tagged with acoustic devices.
"Our goal is to use revolutionary technology that increases our capacity to observe our oceans," marine scientist Barbara Block, who organized the network from her laboratory at Stanford University, said in a statement.
Block is sending to sea a combination of fixed buoys and solar-powered, self-propelling robots that look a bit like surfboards when they're in the water. (The robots, called Wave Gliders, set a Guinness world record in March for the longest distance traveled by unmanned vehicles.) Each buoy and robot will be able to detect any tagged animals that pass within 1,000 feet of it. The buoys and robots then will send their data to researchers on land in real time.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald